Potted History: “I co-founded a label called Fused & Bruised,” says Blackford Hill’s Simon Lewin, whose past should ring large bells for many round these parts. “We had an amazing time, releasing an eclectic blend of electronica from 1996-2001, but I drifted back into the world of graphic design and publishing. More recently, my publishing imprint, Random Spectacular, had put out a couple of audio-related projects,one of which featured Ultramarine, and that prompted me to set up Blackford Hill. I met artist/musician/designer Tommy Perman through one of those projects, and we’ve been developing the label’s output and graphic identity together.”
Mission Statement: “The records released through Random Spectacular were both site-specific,” says Lewin, “and this loosely defines Blackford Hill’s output. Our releases encompass electronica, field recordings, modern classical, spoken word and jazz, all connected to or inspired by a sense of place and released in a variety of audio and print formats.”
Key Artists & Releases: All new labels have to start somewhere, and their first release, Simon Kirby/Tommy Perman/Rob St John’s ‘Sing The Gloaming’, explores light, language and landscape and features contributions from some of Scotland’s finest vocalists. “Having worked with Simon, Tommy and Rob on their ‘Concrete Antenna’ project, a sound installation at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop with accompanying 12-inch vinyl and print package, it’s great to collaborate with them again on the first Blackford Hill release,” says Lewin. The label are also working with Ultramarine again. “They recorded a live session on a barge floating on the Blackwater Estuary earlier this year,” says Lewin. The results of the session will appear on vinyl early in 2021.
Future Plans: “We’ve got some great projects in the pipeline including the first ‘Blackford Hill Transmissions’ compilation,” offers Lewin. “It’s a boxed double CD and booklet featuring the work of printmaker Peter Green, with all profits going to Shelter. Tommy and I have curated the CD. It’s been really heartening to get such positive feedback from everyone we’ve approached. It also gives the listener a good idea of what to expect from us in the months and years ahead. We’re also talking to a number of visual artists who we hope to work with in the future. The printed elements of our releases will always be an important aspect of what we do. In some instances, the music might actually be an accompaniment to these.”
Any Other Business? “With my previous label, although we had a basic online presence, it was early days for the web, distribution was pretty much in the hands of others. Having made many purchases through Bandcamp, it’s great to be using that to promote Blackford Hill. It’s great to have an outlet like that for some of the very limited edition releases with have planned.”
For more, visit blackford-hill.co.uk